Music

Meek Mill’s Plight Isn’t A Human Interest Story — It’s A Call To Action

Getty Image

It’s no secret that high-profile rappers like Meek Mill have been targeted by cops, but there’s one difference this time: The people have targeted the system right back. From Meek’s stubborn judge to his former probation officer to the corrupt cop who allegedly framed him, the justice system has been in the crosshairs of Meek’s advocates — including celebrity ones like Jay-Z, Van Jones, and Philly sports owners. As Meek recently told NBC’s Lester Holt, “I think God delivered me a job to help people — helping minorities that come from these situations like myself.” The #FreeMeekMill campaign that has sprouted since his incarceration is indeed helping others by making the criminal justice system’s flaws front page news.

Today, roughly 80 men who were convicted based on the testimony of former Philly cop Reginald Graham may be freed at a hearing in Philadelphia. Graham is on a “do not call” list, first reported by the Philadelphia Enquirer, of cops unfit to testify in court due to their past corruption. The names on the list were previously kept secret because the DA, according to an Enquirer source, “did not want to release the list out of concern for the officers’ privacy rights and the broad impact it might have on past convictions involving the officers.”

That broad impact is being felt in full force, largely thanks fo Meek. Without his high-powered legal team exhaustively pursuing ways to set him free, the list may have remained submerged. It may have just been a local story. Instead, the city of Philadelphia’s corruption is on front street for the whole world to see, and there is widespread pressure on the city to rectify the damage done by their police force and now-jailed former DA Seth Williams.

Current Philly DA Larry Krasner has already said that Meek should be freed and given a new trial. Given the fact that his original 2008 gun and drug case hinges on the testimony of Graham, which was negated by his own colleagues in sworn affidavits, a new trial shouldn’t be a consideration. Meek should be one of those 80+ people getting their chance at freedom today, but his case’s judge, Genece Brinkley, ignored his bail request and set another hearing for June.

That unfair decision is emblematic of Brinkley’s headstrong conduct in her interactions with Meek. In November, she ignored the DA and prosecutor’s no-jail suggestion when sentencing him to 2-to-4 years for probation violation. Brinkley says the violation was because he went to rehab in Atlanta without her permission and had harmless, chargeless, police interactions in New York and Missouri. Meek’s lawyers have consistently maintained that Brinkley is “infatuated” with Meek due to exploits that have been reported in detail, from asking Meek to record a song about her to going to his community service and chastising him for not folding clothes.

There may be consequences coming soon for her alleged impartiality. The FBI is investigating her conduct, which is a rare occurrence. Meek’s legal team thinks there is a relationship between her and Meek’s former manager Charlie Mack. She has allegedly continuously hinted that Meek leave Roc Nation management to return to Mack — who initially helped him rise from a local Philly rapper into a potential star. If the FBI does act to penalize Brinkley, it won’t just benefit Meek, but the hoards of people whose cases she’s perhaps unfairly overseen.

×